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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

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Acts 8:1-8
Psalm 66
John 6:35-40

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rising expectations

"Philip, for example, went down to the town of Samaria and there proclaimed the Messiah." —Acts 8:5

Philip the deacon is an Easter saint. He shows us that because of the risen Christ:

  • whole cities can be converted (Acts 8:14ff; see also Acts 9:35, 42),
  • even the "least likely" people, like Samaritans, will enter God's kingdom,
  • persecuting the Church will build it up, and
  • every member of the family not only can keep the faith, but lead in spreading the gospel (see Acts 21:8-9).

The risen Christ transforms whole cities, Samaritans, a persecuted Church, the members of our families, and ourselves.

The life of Philip encourages us to believe that the risen Christ can do more than we can ever ask for or imagine (Eph 3:20). How many Christians have prayed for whole cities to come to Christ and have expected it to happen? Do we believe Samaritans, Sauls, enemies, persecutors, abortionists, and atheists will be converted to the Lord? Do we pray for the privilege of being persecuted for Jesus? (see Acts 5:41; Phil 1:29) How many Christian parents are merely hoping to get their adult children back in Church? They can't imagine their children or themselves prophesying, healing, preaching, teaching, or leading. Sometimes in our prayer, we don't seem to be aware of Jesus' resurrection and its implications. The life of Philip opens us to a new dimension of life — risen life.

Prayer:  Father, because of this Easter season may I never pray the same.

Promise:  "No one who comes will I ever reject." —Jn 6:37

Praise:  Faithfulness and prayer bore fruit in the lives of the Joneses as they witnessed their adult fallen-away son receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our tape on Developing a Deep Personal Relationship with Jesus, audio AV 52-1 or video V-52.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 23, 2007

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